One Cut of the Dead (Japan)

Discussion in 'Asian Horror and Other Pleasures' started by Paff, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I saw this last night at an Asian Film Festival. Normally I'm not a big fan of horror comedy; I think too many times the filmmakers are trying to create camp, the next Plan 9. That has to happen organically. OR, they are disrespecting the genre. One Cut of the Dead is that rare horror comedy that works. It's a single shot film of a crew making a horror film, until they're beset by an actual zombie invasion. It's SO much more than that, but to say any more would spoil the surprise.

    I'll just say it's the best film about filmmaking since Brigsby Bear.

    I don't know what American distribution plans are, whether it will be theatrical or only on video, but do yourself a favor and see it any way you can. Oh, and "Pom!"
     
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  2. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Winner, Audience Award at the 2018 San Diego Asian Film Festival. Pom!
     
  3. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Not my thing, but apparently this was added to Amazon Prime, and the filmmakers are freaking out because Amazon did not have authorization to release it. They're saying the US release is now compromised.
     
  4. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I'm surprised you say it's "not your thing", since I believe you were a big fan of Brigsby Bear. One Cut of the Dead is a similar "love letter" to filmmaking, only this time it's directed to low-budget horror. I'll spoilerize this summary as I think it's best enjoyed going in blind, but the basic plot of the film is
    the first 37 minutes is a single-shot of a low-budget horror production that becomes overrun by real zombies. For the next 30 minutes or so, we learn that what we saw at the beginning was a live TV production for a new zombie channel, and in flashback we see how it was all put together. Finally, there's the filming itself, only as a behind-the-scenes, where all the weirdness of the 37-minute shot is explained, usually due to total f-ups by the cast and crew that they had to cover up for on the fly

    POM!
     
  5. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    I loved Brigsby Bear, but I'm kind of burned out on zombies and I find long take gimmicks (Haunting Of Hill House, Silent House, etc) extremely annoying and distracting. I'm also not big on Asian cinema in general. If it turns up back on Prime or another streaming service, I might give it a try.

    Here's a full article about what happened: https://filmschoolrejects.com/one-cut-of-the-dead-bootleg-reveals-amazon-primes-piracy-problem/
     
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  6. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    That's really interesting about the bootlegging onto Amazon Prime. I'm wondering where it came from? The fact that the subtitles were altered with racial stereotypes makes me think someone was able to rip a theatrical DCP, and get the subtitle file. I doubt it was from an unsubbed copy where they added their own, because if it was it would require excellent knowledge of Japanese and I doubt that someone with that much knowledge of the language would then disrespect those who speak it.

    As for the film itself, I don't think that being burned out on zombies would hinder one's enjoyment of it. If anything, it might enhance it. HOWEVER, I will say that the humor in the film can be very Japanese at times, and if you're not into that style of humor you very well might not appreciate it. I'm talking about the "manic", for want of a better word, style. Things like people being attacked by zombies, only to have the director (of the film within the film) jam a camera into the attack and yelling "ACTION!!!!", or of course the oh-so-important "POM!" (which got a laugh out of the audience every time).

    But I'm really impressed that it only had a $27000 budget!
     
  7. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    I got the UK release of this and despite what it says, it is indeed region-free, for anyone curious about the film.
     
  8. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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  9. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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  10. Suicide

    Suicide Space Bastard!

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    I have the UK Blu-ray release (sadly I wasn't paying attention and got the non-limited edition release), but I'll be there immediately if it plays near here. This is one of my favorite movies of the past decade.
     
  11. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Will be available on SHUDDER this Tuesday, September 24th.
     
  12. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Now on SHUDDER!

    I watched it last night before bed. I had been hearing a lot of buzz about this movie, and not just from Paff. I hate to say this, but I found it a little tedious in the second half.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the titular "one cut" which opens the movie. It's crudely made, but fun and certainly holds your attention. I loved the director character who kept popping up out of nowhere. That whole segment in itself was just a cute little zombie film, and had way more heart than the rest of the movie. You can see it in the product itself, and what comes next tries to spell it all out for you and the movie goes downhill fast.

    I don't want to spoil it, or deter anyone from seeing it, but it's difficult to discuss what happens next without spoilers. So if you intend to watch the movie, stop now and go do that. Anyway, it becomes a fictionalized version of the "making-of" what we've just seen, akin to watching a movie then following it with the special features. Only this "making-of" is more fly-on-the-wall, showing the mishaps that happen throughout the shoot. You're basically just running alongside the main feature in real time, and it's akin to watching the movie twice in a row, only an inferior version the second time. Throughout the making-of, comedic mishaps ensue which mostly fall flat (OMG THAT GUY IS POOPING LOLOLOL). It was cute seeing how those little mishaps tied into the film you just saw, but honestly not cute enough to stick around for. More than anything, I thought it took away from the charm of the main feature. A better movie might have had real zombies invade the set, and through the making-of you discover that not everything you see in "One Cut" was fake...

    There was a reality TV series on SyFy back in 2014 called Town Of The Living Dead, set in the small town of Jasper, Alabama where the citizens have spent the past 6-years filming a no-budget zombie movie with no resources except the town itself. It had laughs, it had heart, it had passion, and it succeeded in every way One Cut Of The Dead failed me. It's basically American Movie: The Series. However, the finished zombie movie they made Thr33 Days Dead is unwatchable. SyFy aired it after the finale, and I couldn't even finish it.

    Or there are plenty of horror movies on disc with terrific making-ofs. For example, Malevolence is a superb little indie horror film, and the 30-minute making-of on the disc details all the craziness and problems encountered in the making of this movie. The director even followed this up with a feature-length fictionalized account of the making-of Malevolence titled Brutal Massacre.

    One of my personal favorites would be the feature-length Return To Oldfield: The Making Of From A Whisper To A Scream included on Scream Factory's blu-ray of From A Whisper To A Scream. It's more than just your standard disc making-of, it's the story about the small town of Dalton, Georgia who banded together to help Jeff Burr and co (who were raised there) achieve their dream of making a low-budget horror movie. It's maybe the best bonus feature I've ever encountered, and worth the price of the disc alone.

    All of these are better alternatives to One Cut Of The Dead. Although the movie has been getting tons of acclaim in the horror community (and is certainly impressive for a movie made with only $27,000). So I appear to be on my own with my disappointment here, and encourage you to check it out for yourself and make up your own mind. Maybe just don't expect a horror movie.
     
  13. Paff

    Paff Super Moderator

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    Interesting. I only thought the middle dragged a bit, but the final 30 minutes were a great "re-imagining" of the first 30. Oh, and I'd DEFINITELY say to not expect a horror movie; it's 100% a comedy.
     

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